Students Give, Get, And Grow Through Community Involvement

first graders reading to a blood drive donorThe world starts small when you’re a kid. In a relative bubble of family, friends, and school, it can be challenging for children to think beyond their own backyard, or to reflect on how they can support or contribute to a community that’s different from their own. Cultivating a service mindset in students early is a powerful key to unlocking a larger world view, while also preparing them for college and creating distinction in their educational experience.

The Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Making Caring Common project published a groundbreaking study focused on inspiring community service as part of the college admissions process. The researchers advocate for how service can help students focus on meaningful ethical and intellectual engagement, while creating a platform for long-term success. The study emphasizes that, through their volunteerism, students should be encouraged to:

  • engage in meaningful, sustained community service that is authentically chosen, consistent, and well-structured, and that provides opportunity for reflection both individually and with peers and adults;
  • take collective action that tackles community challenges;
  • have authentic experiences that focus on “doing with” not “doing for”; and
  • engage in service that develops gratitude and a sense of responsibility for the future.

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Grandparents And Special Friends Day Is October 16!

special friends on campusLower and Middle School Grandparents and Special Friends Day will be held on Wednesday, October 16. If parents plan on attending with their child please RSVP by emailing GPDayRSVP@moundsparkacademy.org or calling 651-748-5530. Please include your name and the student name(s) that you will be visiting. Please wear your parent badge. We can’t wait to see everyone on campus for this special event.

9 AM
Registration, coffee, morning treats
Family Commons
9:50-10:30 AM
Kindergarten-6th grade music performance
PreK-8th grade, Nicholson Center
10:40-11:30 AM
Classroom time with your student
11:30 AM
Dismissal


A Joyful Homeoming And Alumni Gathering

Mandy Abdo-Sheahan '92 with my burger truckBeautiful weather and a variety of activities brought more people than ever to campus on September 28 for our community-wide Homecoming festivities. Sports games included a varsity volleyball tournament with the Panthers as the overall winners and several soccer games and tennis matches. We hosted My Burger food truck, which is owned by MPA alum Mandy Abdo-Sheahan ’92, and concessions were made possible by our MPA Spirit Committee. Our third and fourth grade Lower School students sang the National Anthem for the volleyball and soccer games; three types of inflatables were there for the students including a bounce house, axe throwing, and mini golf; additional lawn games; several goodies and giveaways; community gathering around the fire pit; and face painting and chalk art in the parking lot. We had additional alumni-focused events including a tour of our renovated spaces attended by approximately twenty people, an alumni soccer scrimmage, and reunions on Saturday evening.

Milestone Alumni Reunions were celebrated for the classes of 1989, 1990, 1994, 1995, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2014 and 2015 at Lake Monster Brewing on Saturday evening. Following the reunions, an alumni social was held for all MPA alumni. We hosted 39 alumni, which was our largest alumni event in four years!

Take a look at the photos from Homecoming and the Alumni Gathering!


Come Home To MPA

upper school students cheering during homecoming week spirit daysby Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

I am a sap when it comes to commercials around the holidays. I may be showing my age but some of you probably remember the Folgers Coffee commercial when the son surprises his mother by coming home from college unexpectedly, making a fresh pot of Folgers that awakens his mother. Tears, every time. There is something about coming home—feelings of love, safety, and acceptance—that stirs our emotions.

Our identities emerge in the midst of community, molded and shaped by our experiences. Our family, religious beliefs, neighborhoods, and schools are all important in introducing and reinforcing a shared set of values that nurture our identities. Schools in particular have a lasting impact not only on our academic development, but our social and emotional development in our most formative years. Read More


Happy Homecoming, Panthers!

fans line up for high fives at homecomingHomecoming 2019 is here! Did you see the Homecoming chalk art at the north and south entrances on Monday? Thank you to the Upper School Student Council for kicking off the week of festivities!

We have been dreaming, playing, and sharing all week. We hope you can come celebrate with us at the All-School Pep Rally on Friday at 2:20 PM in the Lansing Center.

Please also join us for a day of fun on Saturday! It will be a perfect fall day for catching up with friends, watching a game or match, grabbing a bite to eat, and warming your hands by the fire. Read More


Homecoming 2019: Dream. Play. Share.

homecoming 2018 soccer playersCome dream, play, and share with us at Homecoming 2019! Students will be celebrating on campus the week of September 23. Families, please join us for the annual Homecoming Pep Rally at 2:20 PM on Friday, September 27 in the Lansing Sports Center.

Saturday, September 28 features a day full of Homecoming activities on and off campus for every member of the community! Check out the full week’s schedule of events in the Homecoming brochure mailed to your home or follow this link.

Sign up to volunteer at MPA’s Homecoming 2019! We need your support to make this exciting event succeed. This fun-filled celebration has so many activities going on including fun runs, inflatables, lawn games, athletic competitions, alumni events, and much more. This incredible weekend for every member of our community would not be possible without the generosity of volunteers who give of their time on Saturday, September 28. If you have an hour or two to spare, volunteering is a great way to get involved with the event and MPA! Click here to sign up. Read More


Save The Date For Grandparents & Special Friends Day

lower school with special friend in library Lower and Middle School Grandparents and Special Friends Day will be held the morning of Wednesday, October 16, prior to an early dismissal at 11:30 AM for grades PreK-11 (there is no school that day for grade 12).

Information is being sent home with how to tell us the names of the grandparents and special friends whom we should invite or you may find a fillable PDF here.

Please ask your child’s grandparent or special friend to save the date prior to their invitation arriving in the mail! Contact Ashley Goetzke at agoetzke@moundsparkacademy.org if you have any questions.

click here for the full agenda >


Dream, Play, Share: Homecoming 2019 is Fast Approaching!

alumni at homecoming 2018Homecoming weekend 2019 is quickly coming up on September 27-28, and we can’t wait to celebrate with you! Join fellow MPA alums on Homecoming weekend to reconnect with friends, family, and faculty. Celebrate milestone reunions and participate in special, alumni-only activities. Welcome home, alumni, and we hope to see you soon! RSVP today for any of these events >

RENOVATION TOUR
11 AM • Lansing Lobby
Enjoy a meet and greet and tour of campus with Dr. Bill Hudson, head of school. Come see the newly renovated commons, cafeteria, + kitchen, and get a sneak peek of the library! No RSVP needed. Read More


Get Your Spirit Wear In Time For Homecoming!

lower school student wearing new online spirit store gearThe theme of Homecoming 2019 is Dream. Play. Share., and spirit wear is one great way to “dream” up a custom design, “play,” with the possibilities, and “share” your Panther Pride! Receive 15% off purchases of $75 or more through September 30 with code SEPT19 at MPA’s online spirit store! Even our littlest Panther cubs can join in on the Homecoming fun and school spirit–our online store is now selling infant and toddler gear! Start shopping here.

We can’t wait to see you in MPA colors and to Dream, Play, and Share with you at all of the wonderful 2019 Homecoming events. Click here for the full agenda and activity details.


Creating Community: Connectedness, Belonging, and Academic Success

students working with Ms. Koen in the makerspaceSchools are busy places. Filled with energy, excitement, and activity, the dynamic ecosystem of a school creates a natural space for interaction among students, faculty, and families. But simply being together in the same place, at the same time, doesn’t automatically foster an environment where students feel interconnected, welcomed, and known. Creating community is an active, deliberate process. It’s a core accountability for academic institutions, and an essential element of MPA’s DNA—it’s built into who were are and what we do, with a support system that fuels academic success and facilitates a lifetime of wellbeing for students.

“As a parent and a member of the administrative team, I can speak to my own personal experience about the impact of MPA’s community,” shares Jennifer Rogers, director of development and community engagement. “I started in my role, and my children started as MPA students, in mid-October of last year. It was definitely a big change, with my then second and seventh grader having already begun the academic year at other schools. But from the start, what they experienced in their classrooms, with their peers and from their teachers helped them feel they could make this transition, and my children never looked back. As a mom, that meant everything and put my mind at ease. And as development director, it’s so inspiring to see how in this community everyone chips in—not just through philanthropy, but also in the time and talents they share with our school.” Read More